I don’t usually do this, but I would like use this week’s post to applaud and express my deepest appreciation for one of my church members: Casey Jones. For my readers who are also a part of the Bono Baptist family, I know you will easily understand why I’m taking time to highlight this particular individual. However, if you’ve never met Casey, let me take two seconds to tell you about this awesome brother in Christ.
Casey Jones is a real-life Mr. Fix-it. I’ve known a lot of people who are quite handy, but I’ll take Casey any day of the week and twice on Sundays! I can’t even begin to count the number of times he has repaired one of our ancient air conditioners, resolved some weird electrical issue, or fixed faulty plumbing. I think his toughest test has been our stubborn and temperamental ice maker. Casey has gone about fifteen rounds with that thing, yet somehow he keeps coming out the victor. It is no exaggeration that his know-how has saved our church many thousands of dollars.
While there’s plenty of reasons to laud this dear friend of mine, you might be wondering why I’m choosing to do so today. It’s because as I write this, I’ve just finished giving Casey some bad news.
Earlier this morning I found him working on a water line from one of the A/C units in the attic that had sprung a leak and was dripping through the ceiling. I’ll spare you all the technical details (which I didn’t understand anyway) but Casey said he thought he had fixed the problem but that he would come back in a few hours. He asked me to periodically check on it in the meantime and to call him if I noticed it leaking again. A few minutes ago, I walked down the hallway and saw not one, but TWO leaks now dripping from the ceiling and soaking the carpet. I could here the frustration in his voice over the phone, but he didn’t hesitate to say that he would get back as soon as possible and try again.
It’s probably terrible of me to share the only example I can think of when one of Casey’s repairs actually resulted in the problem becoming worse instead of better, but I do so for a reason. Actually, two reasons. First, today Casey has reminded me of the importance of perseverance.
I have absolutely no doubt the this problem will get fixed. Why? Because I know that Casey will persevere until such a time that it is repaired. I’m prone to give up and “throw in the towel” a little too quickly when I face a difficult problem, robbing myself of the blessing that would have come from perseverance.
Look at what the Bible says about the value of perseverance.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2–4, NIV)
It can be difficult, but we are called to have joy whenever we face frustrating, difficult, or even painful trials. When we’re willing to endure the “testing of our faith,” we find a renewed ability to persevere, and that perseverance ends up producing a multitude of other blessings and character-strengthening attributes. Today, I need to choose perseverance, and I hope you will join me with a similar commitment.
My second reason for writing about Casey is that today’s water leak has reminded me how thankful I am for the people God has placed in my life. I’m guessing you can say the same thing. We each have those friends or family members who are always there to lend a helping hand.
This also causes me to stop and evaluate how often I take time to express my heartfelt gratitude towards those special individuals. If you and I are not careful, we can begin to take for granted those people who bless us so much. It’s not enough to assume they know the depth of our love and appreciation. Maybe what that person needs today is to hear your words of thanks.
For what thanksgiving can we return to God for you, for all the joy that we feel for your sake before our God, (1 Thessalonians 3:9, ESV)